About

Hi. I’m Ryan Maloney, childrens book illustrator and author, as well as the founder of MediaLuv Creative Agency. 

childrens book illustrator Ryan Maloney

About My Books

I started writing and illustrating books in 2015 after my son was born. Before that, I had always been a life long creative, drawing, and writing addict. From comics, to branding design, and cartoon animation, I couldn’t get enough of it. I create it on a daily basis commercially, but it didn’t dawn on me I could be a childrens book illustrator or author until I started reading books to my son. It felt like “oh, I have these stories and thoughts that would be perfect for this medium.” So out came my absurd, quirky, (hopefully) funny books and drawings. 

childrens book illustrator
best books for toddlers away we go land rhyming picture book

Where do my ideas come from?

I’m a big believer in the “idea muscle” theory. Idea generation, like fitness improves over time. The more you ideate, over and over, along with recovery, learning, reflection, the more and better ideas you will generate until your brain is an idea machine. I’ve been doing this since I was 3. I’ve devoured paper, sketch books, and digital drawing tablets with non stop ideas, sketches, and writings. At this point, it’s like working out, I need to create to feel energized and good. The problem is, like working out, it takes a long time to improve, maintain, generate results (ideas) that are any good. 0.00001% of my ideas get turned into books. As of writing this, I don’t have a magic formula for coming up with book ideas, but I know that my favorite books come about when I challenge myself, or go through challenging times, and am able to step back, reflect, and laugh about how ridiculous everything is. “Away We Go Land,” “Pancake, Pennsylvania,” and “Gravity Loco” are all products of this process. 

My Process

WRITE IT

After accumulating 100’s if not thousands of ideas in a Reminder list on my phone, one idea begins to bubble to the surface. Then I’ll start to hear or think of lines in my head, like a musician would. Once a strong line pops into my head, I begin to string them together. My writing process takes longer than my drawing process. I’ll sometimes write a book for years in my head or on paper before drawing it. Other times, I will write a book in an eight block walk in New York City like I did with Gravity Loco. Whenever I find I am stuck with a story, I try to think of the ending first. What’s on that last page? What’s the feeling I want people to walk away with, then I work backwards from there to create the rest of the story. 

ILLUSTRATE IT

To me, drawing is one of the best feelings in the world. I could do it all day everyday, and sort of have for 30+ years. I know that I like to draw so much that if I let myself illustrate my book ideas as soon as I have it, I will lose my way, and lose the structure. I will create some cool drawings, but the writing and frame work needs to be there up until the end of the story in order for me to finish a book. Illustrating is like the smoothie after the gym. I make myself earn it. You can’t just go to the gym and buy a smoothie, you gotta feel the burn (writing) first. Once I have my story written, I set up a 30 day production schedule to draw my book. I have a 1 page per day quota for 30 days. I do this because it creates the rythm and routine I need to get in the zone and create the feel of the book. I also don’t allow myself to draw more than one page a day so my passion continues to bubble up and beg to draw more. Kind of a weird mind trick I play on myself. 

AMAZON IT

As of now, self publishing is way easier for me to get my books out into the world, since I am running MediaLuv for most of the day. Amazon KDP is incredible for allowing you to set up a book, upload files, and sell your book right on Amazon. They print, ship and return everything for you. So my books sell everyday without me having to worry about anything. You can learn how to quickly self-publish your own book with this free guide or read more about it in this blog post. 

Quick Bio Bits

I’ve written and Illustrated 8-ish picture books to date.

Designed toys that are sold at just about every major retail store.

You may have bought a toy, shampoo, skin care product, or make up because of the visuals I’ve created.

Graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.

From Orchard Park, NY.

Live in New Canaan, CT

Favorite Books:
Poor Charlie’s Almanack
Million Dollar Consulting
The Lean Start Up
Built to Sell
Four Hour Work Week

Favorite Movie:
6 Days to Air

Mission
Make great work with and for great people that entertains, educates, makes people laugh, and think differently.

What's MediaLuv?

MediaLuv is my creative agency I started in 2013. We create animated videos, designs, illustrations and lend creative insight to clients L’Oreal, Garnier, Essie, Aussie, Universal Music Group, Basic Fun, and a tons of NYC based Ad and Marketing agencies. 

I’ve had the opportunity to direct animated music videos for artists like Owl City, Hanson, Fancy, Ariana Grande, Meghan Trainor, and help launch a ton of cool toy and CPG products over the last 6+ years. At the core of what MediaLuv does is the heart of my books, telling the best stories possible, in the best way possible, to entertain and educate audiences. 

FAQ

You can run it by me by using the Contact page or DM me on social. I do not take on every project I hear about and please allow 1-2 weeks for a response. Somethings I look for in order to illustrate a story: Do I connect with the story? Can I change the story to fit my sensibility? Who is the story for? What is the purpose of the book? Would I have to adapt my style to best tell the story? What is the hook?

I do reading and writing/ drawing tutorials at local schools, libraries, and book stores. Reach out using the contact page to see if your reading opportunity might be a good fit. 

1.) Write and draw everyday and show people repeatedly. 2.) Be weery of all advice, including this. 3.) Check out some resources on my blog. I’d say the best thing to do is to read about my experiences and what I know, and add it to the pot of everything they are learning. But make sure they see the value in being different, thinking differently and the power of story. 

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